Volume 73, Number 37 | January 14 - 20, 2004

Crime continues to decline, but at a slower rate

By Albert Amateau

A suspect is led into booking at the Sixth Precinct, passing the precinct’s Police Museum, at left, on the way.

The 10-year decline in felony crime continues but at a slower rate both citywide and in the precincts in Greenwich Village, the East Village, Soho, the Lower East Side and Gramercy, according to New York City Police Department year-end statistics. At the same time, the statistics also show some troubling problem areas, including increases in rapes, burglaries and murders in some precincts.

The big exception to the decline in the seven major crime categories tracked by N.Y.P.D. Compstat reports was in the 10th Precinct, which covers Chelsea and part of Hell’s Kitchen. Figures show a 45.7 percent annual increase in crime complaints as of Dec. 28, 2003, compared to the previous year in the 10th Precinct. But even that whopping figure is an improvement over adjusted figures that show a 49.68 percent increase in the 10th Precinct in 2002 compared to 2001.

The increase in 10th Precinct crime came to light in June of last year when Police Commissioner Ray Kelly questioned whether the 2001 and 2002 precinct statistics were illegally manipulated to show reductions in felonies instead of increases. Former 10th Precinct C.O. Capt. Dominic Gentile, who was transferred to Brooklyn in 2002, and retired Sgt. Bruce Golden, who prepared Gentile’s statistics, are still under investigation.

Rape statistics

The citywide increase in rape that became apparent last year improved citywide, declining by 3.6 percent. But in the troubled 10th Precinct, rapes increased sharply, 17 reported last year compared to three the previous year.

In the Sixth Precinct, which covers Greenwich Village, 10 rapes were reported compared to six the previous year. In the Seventh Precinct, covering the Lower East Side south of Houston St. and east of Allen St., 11 rapes were reported last year compared to seven the previous year. In the First Precinct, which includes the South Village, Soho and Lower Manhattan, nine rapes were reported last year compared to seven the previous year.

Reports of rape declined, however, in the Fifth Precinct, which covers Chinatown, Little Italy and part of the Lower East Side east of Broadway and west of Allen St. from Houston St. to the Brooklyn Bridge; six were reported in 2003 compared to 11 in 2002. The Ninth Precinct, which covers the East Village, also had fewer reported rapes, 15 last year compared to 18 the previous year. The 13th Precinct, which covers the Gramercy and Flatiron neighborhoods, had 19 reports of rape in 2003 compared to 23 in 2002.

Villager photos by Elisabeth Robert

An officer gets into his patrol scooter outside the Sixth Precinct on W. 10th St.

10th Precinct

Murders were down, with one reported last year compared to two the previous year in the 10th Precinct. Robberies were up 28 percent to 207 from 161. However, the largest percentage increase, 59 percent, was in assault, 140 assaults being reported in 2003 compared to 88 the year before. Capt. Dennis De Quatro, who took over as commanding officer of the 10th in September, last month said that many assaults originated in nightclubs in the precinct. Grand larceny showed the next highest increase, 58.4 percent, with 659 grand larcenies reported last year compared to 416 in 2002. Burglaries in the precinct also increased, with 218 reported compared to 149, up 46.3 percent. Auto theft was also up; 141 were reported compared to 130 the year before.

Sixth Precinct

Crime generally declined 5.68 percent last year in the Sixth Precinct. There were no murders last year and none the year before in the Village precinct. Robberies were down by 27.4 percent; 238 were reported last year compared to 307 the previous year. Assaults rose slightly, 103 compared to 100 in 2002. Burglary declined by nine percent, with 275 reported, down from 303. Grand larceny was virtually the same, 1,186 compared to 1,185 the previous year. Auto theft also was down, 149 from 178.

Ninth Precinct

A slight decline of 1.45 percent in the overall crime rate was reported for the Ninth Precinct. However, murder was up, with three reported last year compared to one the previous year. Robbery was down 2.6 percent to 260 from 267 the year before. There were 178 assaults, down 11.8 percent from 2002. But burglary rose slightly, with 342 reported last year compared to 336 in 2002. Grand larceny rose to 843 from 804, while auto theft dropped 11.6 percent to 144 from 163 the previous year.

Fifth Precinct

There were three murders in the Fifth Precinct last year and none the year before, but generally crime was down by 8.24 percent from the previous year. There were 189 robberies, down 23.7 percent from 194 the year before. Assaults were down 19.8 percent, with 89 reported compared to 111 the previous year. Burglaries were down slightly, 208 in 2003 compared to 212 in 2002. There were 665 grand larcenies, down 2.6 percent from 683, and auto theft dropped to 72, down 17.2 percent from 87.

Seventh Precinct

Overall crime was down 5.66 percent last year from the previous year; but six murders were reported compared to five the year before. Robberies declined slightly to 184 from 186, and assaults were the same, 133 for 2003 and 2002. Burglaries were down 12.2 percent to 150 from 171. Grand larcenies were marginally higher, 244 last year compared to 242, but auto theft was down 22.2 percent to 122 from 157.

First Precinct

A general decline of 6.96 percent in crime was reported last year in the First Precinct compared to 2002. There were two murders last year and two the year before. Robberies fell by 25 percent to 156, down from 208 the previous year. Assaults also declined to 130 last year, down 17.7 percent from 158 in 2002. But burglaries increased by 25 percent with 385 reported, up from 308 previously. Grand larceny reports totaled 1,765, an 8.7 percent decline from 1,934. Auto theft declined 15.7 percent, 118 compared to 140.

13th Precinct

Murder doubled in the precinct, with four reported last year compared to two the year before. But overall, crime in the 13th Precinct was down 5.34 percent. Robbery was down, 300 from 324. Assaults dropped to 150 from 194, a decline of 22.6 percent. Burglary declined 12.8 percent to 549 burglaries from 630. Statistics for grand larcenies were nearly the same, with 1,794 reported last year compared to 1,798 the year before. Auto theft was also down, with 164 auto thefts reported last year compared to 172 the previous year.


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